Leveling Up: SEL@Home Expands with New Opportunities for Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

January 14, 2020

Since launching the SEL@Home initiative four years ago, Bright Promises and our partners have gained extensive knowledge and expertise in implementing effective SEL programs in diverse communities. Beginning in 2020, Bright Promises Foundation has launched a 2-year initiative to actively expand and disseminate SEL@Home principles so that more agencies can effectively provide these services, and more children and families can benefit. 

Through this new expansion of the SEL@Home initiative, Bright Promises Foundation is creating opportunities for our program partners to teach and train other organizations how to incorporate evaluated and proven-effective SEL practices into their programs for children and families. 

“Our goal is to form a true coalition so that we can work together to actively disseminate best practices to other agencies,” Lauren Krieg, Bright Promises Senior Program Office explained, “Together, we are exploring ways to collaborate, share information and materials, and figure out how to educate other organizations about why intentional SEL education is so important for parents and caregivers.”

Bright Promises program partners convened in December 2019 to brainstorm and plan for the expansion of SEL@Home.

With support from the Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund, Bright Promises is forming a special cohort made up of current grantees who are committed to collaborating on this project and who will receive special funding to support this effort. This new initiative will be in addition to ongoing SEL@Home programming that Bright Promises is supporting at more than 90 sites across Chicagoland.

According to Astrid E. Suarez, Director of Education  at Enlace Chicago, a Bright Promises’  program partner since 2017, “SEL development and growth is a key priority for the implementation of our organization's mission and vision. Collaboration is the center of the community's cultural wealth. Parents and organization staff are eager to enhance SEL collaboration opportunities with city-wide partners.”

Through this collaborative effort led by Bright Promises Foundation, current SEL@Home program partners will receive planning and implementation grants in addition to hands-on support from Bright Promises staff and the expert evaluation team to create the required tools and to develop and deliver effective trainings that expand the use of SEL in more parent programs at more agencies.

This will ensure that high-quality SEL practices can be incorporated into the programs of new organizations through workshops, trainings, technical assistance and capacity building support, so that more parents and caregivers can benefit and more children can be safe and supported at home.

Furthermore, this new initiative will include a two-part evaluation that is focused on understanding both the process and outcomes of this expansion of the SEL@Home program. Bright Promises will complete both a summative evaluation that includes identifying and measuring key metrics and tracking outcomes, as well as a process evaluation that documents how to successfully form and manage a coalition. This will help to further improve the Bright Promises grantmaking model and our ability to achieve residual impact through our grantmaking that is strategic and sustainable.

“This new initiative is an opportunity to create a real mechanism to transfer not only knowledge about how to establish and operate SEL parent programs, but also provide the direct assistance agencies need so they can, in turn, get these programs up and running,” Iris Krieg, Executive Director of Bright Promises Foundation remarked, “This is a breakthrough for us and sets a new standard for our work.”

For more information about SEL@Home and the new Collaborative Action Grants Program, visit www.brightpromises.org/programs/overview.